It’s all about shapes (teddy bear tutorial)

There are some amazing clay artists out there that can take a large block of clay and sculpt a piece…..I am not one of those artists! 🙂 No, my style of claying is much simpler. People are more apt to say, “Aww, cute!” rather than, “Wow!” when they see my clay creations. When I first started working with clay though, I thought that you HAD to sculpt the piece from one block of clay. You know, like if I wanted to make a bear, I should take one lump of clay, and form the legs, and form the arms,….etc. But then I learned to view everything in shapes. Now when trying to teach someone how to clay, that’s usually my first tip. Find the basic shape of the item you want to make, and then build on it.

If you can make shapes, then you can work with clay. Watch, I’ll show you what I mean by teaching you how to make a teddy bear. Are you ready? Here goes….

This is what you’ll need to begin (if the pictures are too small, just click on them, and that will make them larger):


First, take the large tear-drop shape and place the toothpick half (the toothpick gives your piece extra stability) into the top like this:


Now, take the large circle and place on the top for the head:


Take the next circle and flatten it a bit and place on the front of the head to make the mouth, and take a small piece of your contrasting color and place on the front for the nose:


OK, next, using your stylus, place two small beads just above the mouth and make indents next to the beads for the eyelashes:


Then use your stylus to draw a mouth:


Now take two small circles and place them at the corners of the head for her ears:


Use your blending pen and press into each ear:


This is for two reasons, it helps the ears attach more firmly, and it also creates a pocket for the next step. Use a small circle of contrasting color and press into the ear:


Hey, it’s starting to look like a bear, huh?! 🙂

OK, next take one of the larger circles and roll it out leaving one end larger for the foot:


Flatten the feet out a bit and press them onto the sides of your bear like this:


Roll out the other two circles for the arms:


Press the arms onto the sides:


Use two small circles of the second color, flatten them out and press onto the bottoms of the feet:


Add “stitching” by using your stylus to make indents around the edge of the paw piece:


OK, now her feet are “stitched”:


Aww, she’s getting cuter by the minute! 🙂

Next roll out a thin line of the second color and flatten it out:

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Wrap it around your bear’s neck, use your knife to cut the end so the two ends meet at the back of the neck:


Use the blending pen to smooth the edges together, don’t worry about making it too neat, we’re going to cover it up with a bow:


The easiest way to make a bow is to take two small pieces of clay, make small triangles, lay them down with points together, then take a small rectangle of clay and wrap around the center. Use the stylus pen to make indents on the sides and top to make it look like a bow:

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Press the bow onto the back of the neck piece:


We’re almost done!

Next we “stitch” the bear with the stylus:

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I like to add patches to my Kwilted Kritter figurines. Just flatten a piece of clay, use your knife to cut a square, press it onto the back, and “stitch”:


And I like to put buttons as well. Make small circles, flatten them, press onto the bear, then use the stylus to poke the holes:


Now bake, and then…..TADA!!!

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I named mine Bonnie, what’s your bear’s name? 🙂

So you see, once you view it as doing one shape at a time, it’s really, really fun! Are you hooked yet?


12 thoughts on “It’s all about shapes (teddy bear tutorial)

  1. I have always wanted to make clay pieces for bow centers n chunky necklaces that all these boutiques r making a fortune on but didn’t know where to start. U made everything so much easier:):)!!!…thank u!!!! U are very talented keep up the good work:):):)

  2. This inspired me to try making a bear too! It doesn’t look quite like yours but the fact that I was able to make something even vaguely bear-shaped is awesome. Thanks for sharing!!

    • I am so happy to know that I inspired someone today. Working with polymer clay is so much fun, and once you get the basics, anything is possible. Enjoy and happy claying! 🙂

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